Tag Archive | Shamanism

Feeling the Call

The Call

I refer to it as “the call” – the slight feeling of urgency that I have about becoming more involved in the realms of Shamanism.  Not anxious, nervous, or rushing; just a sense of urgency, importance, and necessity. The old ways call to me, they send out whispers into my reality – in books, music, and conversation. I’ve always felt this call, but for a long time I didn’t know what exactly I was being called to; after my first encounter with Core Shamanism, however, I finally had my answer to the question sitting in the very back of my mind.

Lately, I’ve felt the call even stronger – it seems that I can’t wait for circumstances to be “perfect” to answer the call.

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Crows? Still?

Yes! I’m sill finding Crow everywhere – often seeing a pair.

I’m signed up for a 2-year Core Shamanism apprenticeship that will begin in March – and I cannot wait! This is going to involve a lot of change, and I’m looking forward to that; I think I need it. Perhaps Crow is excited too. Every time I see Crow, he’s silent until I approach, then he sings and sings! I’ll call that excitement.

The only thing I’m worried about is the number of people joining me on this journey – our teacher is coming from a good distance away, and if there are not enough people signed up, she’ll not be able to make the drive. I’m putting out to the universe that this class needs to happen – and it will.

~Take care and Blessed be

Massive Animal Deaths

Updated timeline of mysterious animal deaths | The Vigilant Citizen.

I’m not really a “2012=end of world” person , but the massive animal deaths have me a little on edge. The most interesting thing is that in most cases the “causes” are either unknown or totally ridiculous (drunken birds?) and no one seems to be really actually questioning it.

Also, here a Google map that charts all the reported deaths….

Just makes me wonder what are animal brothers and sisters are trying to tell us – we’ve grown so far from them, we can even figure it out.

Meditation?

I’ve never really got into meditation. I use guided meditations sometimes before/during ritual, but never really on a daily basis. In doing this year and a day program, I’ve come to the section of days dealing with meditation and meditation techniques. I think this is good for me. I’ve always wanted to do more with meditation, but haven’t ever sat down to find and explore different methods that would work for me. Roderick’s book, however, is prompting me to do just that.

In the past, the only meditation I’ve really done (aside from the guided meditations mentioned earlier) have been using mantras and breathing exercises. Mantras are words or phrases said over and over again to instill a certain frame of mind or create a certain effect within the body/mind/spirit.  I rather like using mantras because it’s like singing. Here’s one of my favorites, Om Mani Padme Hum:

I’m also looking into drumming meditation. Drumming at about 220-240 beats per minute actually brings about theta brain waves – this is a seriously relaxed state, just before delta (sleep). This is the drum beat used in shamanic journeying as well. I’ve never used it outside of that setting, but I’m looking into it.

~Take care and Blessed be

Wicca and Shamanism

Day six in Roderick’s book deals with the connection between Wicca and Shamanism. This is something that I have been seriously interested in for the past year, when I started looking into Core Shamanism. Roderick reminds us that in both traditions there seems to be a “calling” to the path. He says “ the powers of the shaman are those of the earth, the wind, the waters, and the fire” – the same energies used in witchcraft – and their power comes from ecstatic rituals that alter the state of consciousness – which is also what Wiccan ritual aims to do.

He also gives a little bit of information as to the difference between the shaman and the madman/madwoman. The madman cannot remain in balance; cannot remain centered; cannot properly perceive the different between the spiritual and physical realms.

Part of what makes Wicca and Shamanism so similar is the deep connection to nature

The exercise for today is to contemplate a few questions:

Describe in writing your own “calling” to the Witch’s path. Take note of which of the shamanic hallmarks describe your own experience.

For me, this is a two part question. The first deals with my leaving the Church. It was perhaps when I was 7 or 8, during Lent. I don’t know if all Catholic churches do this, but St. Michael’s here in town covers all the of statues of Mary with black cloth. This deeply disturbed me, and there’s no way that I can put it into words. It really freaked me out – and I knew right then and there that this wasn’t the right thing for me. I mean, I understand the symbolism behind that, I really do, but something about it… I guess it was my first intuitive experience (that I can remember). After that, I was open to other religions and experiences.

Secondly, I came to Wicca through, of all things, a Scooby Doo movie. It was Scooby Doo and the Witch’s Ghost; they mentioned Wicca a few times and that prompted me to look it up. I instantly fell in love and felt at home with Wicca. Looking through the list of hallmarks Roderick gives, I went through a long bout of serious depression through most of my middle school years. Also, I wonder if my childhood experiences with crows count as “traumatic incidents” which he mentions. My mother tells me often of how crows used to chase me – CHASE me – around when I went outside. She says I would be screaming and crying because they were chasing and pecking at me and she had to chase them away from me with a broom. I still to this day cannot remember this ever happening, but I wonder if I didn’t repress these memories. Sounds pretty traumatizing to me.

In what ways are you a shaman? I suppose most simply, I am a shaman because I’m a shamanic practitioner. I feel connected to the ways of the shaman – moving between words, journeying, dancing, drumming, and serving the community. It is simply something I’m called to.

In what ways are you a madwoman? At times, I have trouble staying balanced. There are times when I wish to exist only in the spiritual realms. This happens less and less often, after I overcame my depression, but still happens from time to time.

More Crows

I’ve seen about five more crows since my last post about Crow. I’ve been so busy with school and work the past few days that I haven’t had a chance to journey to see Crow – but I’m planning on it today. So to tide my curiosity and give me a general idea, I made an impromptu pendulum board with different aspects of Crow written in the sections.

So, there’s the gist of how I made it, but I’d like to go a little more in-depth about the aspects that I used. Oh, and before we begin, I use “Crow” and “Raven” interchangeably, because, scientifically speaking, they are from the same genus (Corvus).

Intelligence: As far as birds go, Crows are incredibly intelligent. Some species actually make tools to use in looking for food or utilize the tools of humans to do their work for them.

Oracle: Crows can be trained to speak (not unlike a parrot) – this imitated human voice lends itself well to legends about Crow being an amazing oracle.Furthermore, think of the ‘kraws‘ sound that Crow sometimes makes – to me it sounds a lot like the Latin ‘cras‘ which means ‘tomorrow’.

Secrets: Crows can be very deceptive in their actions – keeping their true motives and actions hidden. They are seen in many mythologies as keepers of secrets.

Wisdom: Many ancient mythos associate Crow with wisdom (and prophecy, but I’ve talked about that) through the gods that are associated with Crow, such as: Odin, Bran, Cailleach, and Morrigan.

Odin the Allfather with his wolves (Geri and Freki) and Huginn and Muninn

 

Thought/Memory: Odin is said to have been attended by two Ravens – Huginn (Thought) and Muninn (Memory). They would fly all over the world everyday and later tell Odin of everything they had seen. These two concepts are so connected that I could not separate them.

Bringer of Light: In Haida myth, Raven steals the sun (amongst other things) from Grey Eagle, who horded the sun, moon, stars, fresh water, and fire from humanity because he so despised them. Oddly enough, in the beginning of this myth (and others) Raven is a white bird, whose feathers are burnt by flame or the sun.

Creation: The black color of Crow is associated with the void of creation – the primordial womb from which all life springs. Some Native American myths speak of Raven as having created the world.

Change: Crow is known as a shape-shifter in many cultures. Also, Crow’s assocation with death and the transition from life to death connects to change on a great scale.

~Take care and Blessed be

P.S. I turned on Bones tonight, and they were talking about the American Crow. Like I said in my video, everywhere!

Spontaneous Soul Retrieval

In shamanism it is believed that part of the soul is free to leave the body – often at dream time or journeying. The soul can also split off parts of itself in times of distress or trauma and these part can “flee” the situation as a survival mechanism. Sometimes, these soul shards don’t return right away. This is called soul loss and can lead to many mental/emotional aliments including depression and memory loss. Most often soul loss creates a feeling of incompleteness; you know when people say “I feel like a lost something when [something happened]” or “a part of me died when [something happened]”? That is soul loss.

Drumming on one of my hand-made drums. Drums are a common tool for shamanic practitioners.

Part of the duty of a shaman is to help in the retrieval of soul shards. This is something I have not yet learned how to do, but have (I believe) experienced in the form of a spontaneous soul retrieval. When I was a sophomore in high school my parents were going through a “rough patch” which led to a long and rough divorce. In this time, my friends were my escape – I spent as much time with them as possible so that I wouldn’t have to deal with the fighting and the anger. One friend in particular stands out, his name is Jeremy. I believe that at some point, a part of my soul split off and, for lack of a better word, attached to him. It was only after hearing that Jeremy was about to move that I “knew” (not in an intellectual sense, mind you) that something was missing.

Of course, at the time I didn’t know anything about shamanism or soul loss. Not long after taking an introductory class on core shamanism, I kept seeing Jeremy in dreams or stumbling upon old pictures. So I meditated and journeyed about this in an attempt to understand what this meant. Then I remembered a few things my shamanic instructor had said about soul loss and soul retrieval – so I looked it up and was surprised to see how well that fit how I’d felt when he left – like a part of me was missing. Not long after this revelation, Jeremy called me up saying that he’d be in town for a day or two and wanted to get together. As I dropped him off after spending a few hours running around town, I felt a massive shift in energy. I got some sudden insight, like Spirit whispering in my ear. It was back – the piece I was missing.

I can’t seem to find any information on what I’ve decided to call spontaneous soul retrievals, but I know that’s what I experienced.

~Take care and Blessed be